Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Giant jellyfish like this one are taking over parts of the world's oceans as overfishing and other human activities open windows of opportunity for them to prosper, say researchers.

In this photo, a diver is attaching a sensor to track a monster Echizen jellyfish, which has a body almost 5 feet across, off the coast of northern Japan.

Jellyfish are normally kept in check by fish, which eat small jellyfish and compete for jellyfish food such as zooplankton, researchers said. But, with overfishing, jellyfish numbers are increasing.

These huge creatures can burst through fishing nets, as well as destroy local fisheries with their taste for fish eggs and larvae.

Anthony Richardson of CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research and colleagues reported their findings in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution to coincide with World Oceans Day.

They say climate change could also cause jellyfish populations to grow. The team believes that for the first time, water conditions could lead to what they call a "jellyfish stable state," in which jellyfish rule the oceans.

The combination of overfishing and high levels of nutrients in the water has been linked to jellyfish blooms. Nitrogen and phosphorous in run-off cause red phytoplankton blooms, which create low-oxygen dead zones where jellyfish survive, but fish can't, researchers said.

"(There is) a jellyfish called Nomura, which is the biggest jellyfish in the world. It can weigh 200 kilograms (440 pounds), as big as a sumo wrestler and is 2 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter," Richardson said.

Richardson said jellyfish numbers are increasing in Southeast Asia, the Black Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.

You know, there is something to be said for Metroid coming to life to dominate our faces.

Very Soon, the land animals will take part in the Animal Uprising 2012, and we, the humans, will be driven towards the oceans. By this time, of course, the Oceans will be dominated by giant jellyfish, who will encircle the human race, with the sole purpose of sucking our brains through our eye sockets.

Simply put, this will not end pretty.

We can't very well tell people to stop eating fish now can we? Because that seems to be the only solution to stop the giant Metroid jelly fish from rising up?

I'll make a deal ... I will do my part, and give up going to Long John Silvers.

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